Homemade Chicken Tenders

July 31, 2011

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For those of you that have children, you are fully aware of the kids menu in most restaurants. Hot dogs, hamburgers, macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders, pizza, and french fries. It is rare that you see “a side of vegetables” or “salad”. How about some grilled chicken or a shrimp kebab?

My kids would love to order off of the kids menu, but I try to avoid it. An entree in most restaurants are too big for even me to finish, so I prefer my kids to find something that they like on the regular menu and share it. They don’t really know any better – it’s kind of always been that way. My brother had a friend growing up who would only eat hamburgers. He went on vacation with us one summer and eating our meals was an ordeal. I vowed that when I grew up, I would make one meal and my children would eat what we ate.

In our house, I try and recreate the “kids menu” with a healthy twist. One such dish are chicken tenders. I use organic, grass fed chicken breasts, oat flour and spices and rather then fry them, I bake them. I serve them with an apricot dipping sauce and/or my homemade barbecue sauce and both children and adults devour the meal. I usually make a big batch and freeze the left overs.

Homemade Chicken Tenders
yield: about 24-28 chicken tenders

ingredients:
chicken tenders
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless, organic chicken
1/2 cup oat flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. Celtic sea salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
2 eggs

apricot dipping sauce:
4 Tbsp. apricot preserves
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

instructions:
for the chicken:
• preheat oven to 475*
• line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and place a wire rack on top of it. spray with cooking spray.
• rinse chicken and pat dry. cut into strips and set aside.
• pound chicken to desired thickness.
• in a small bowl combine the oat flour and sea salt
• in another bowl whisk the eggs(I add 1-2 tablespoons of water and whisk all together).
• in a long baking dish, combine the panko bread crumbs, oregano, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, and white pepper.
• dredge chicken strips in oat flour, then in the egg mixture, finally coat with panko mixture. shake off excess coating. lay each piece on prepared wire rack. repeat with the rest of the chicken.
• bake chicken for 15-18 minutes or until slightly golden and the center is no longer pink.

for the apricot sauce:
• pulse the apricot preserves in a mini chopper to remove any chunks.  pour into a bowl.
• add the Dijon and whisk to combine.

* if you decide to double the recipe, flash freeze the left overs. place the frozen, cooked tenders in a freezer safe container and when ready to eat, cook for about 12-15 minutes in a pre-heated 350* oven.

More Chicken Tender Recipes:
Gluten Free Chicken Tenders – Tasty Eats at Home
Chipotle Chicken Tenders – Sara’s Kitchen
Crunchy Nut Encrusted Chicken Tenders – Beantown Baker
Panko Crusted Chicken Tenders – NY Times

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lucy Lean July 31, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Love this recipe – and my kids nearly always order off the regular menu – sashimi rarely appears alongside the hot dog or burger!

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2 Amanda August 1, 2011 at 6:01 am

I ADORE that picture!! Such a beautiful POV. And this recipe is fantastic too! I have a feeling everyone in my family would gobble these up!!

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3 Susan August 2, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Amanda – who doesn’t love eating something that replicates a “fried” food? I adore fried food and this quenches my cravings!

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4 Marla {family fresh cooking} August 1, 2011 at 6:12 am

Ohhhh, that apricot dipping sauce makes these extra special!!

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5 Georgia Pellegrini August 1, 2011 at 7:13 am

I love these, and I luuv a good dipping sauce. I often make them for parties with a lot of men : )

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6 Maria August 1, 2011 at 8:15 am

Homemade is always best!

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7 Ana August 2, 2011 at 8:33 am

Hi!,
I’ve just discovered your blog and I love it! I’m a Spanish teacher who loves cooking and I’m really amazed with your cooking art. It will be great to vary our Mediterranean diet with some of your traditional American recipes. I can hardly wait to prepare the Dulce de Leche cake!

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8 Susan August 2, 2011 at 9:19 am

Hi and welcome! So nice to meet you! I am glad you are enjoying the blog. I, too, love to cook and share my food with friends and family. Food is such a great way to bring people together! You will love the Dulce de Leche Cake – it is crazy good!

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9 Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media] August 2, 2011 at 11:30 am

These look great. I need to master homemade chicken tenders, so I’ll be using this recipe for sure!

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10 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen August 3, 2011 at 1:59 am

I’m passing this recipe on to my sister in law, her daughter seems to only ever want to eat chicken tenders!

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11 Ana August 3, 2011 at 2:01 am

Hello again!
thank you very much for the welcome! I’ll stay tuned!
By the way, I found your blog searching for cupcake recipes and I’ve just read that you’re from Los Angeles. So, you won’t believe it, but tomorrow I’m going to LA. This is my very first trip to USA and I’m very excited. My husband is going for business but as I’m on holidays I’m accompaigning him.
I will let you know my experience in your city! Would you recommend me any nice place to eat or visit? I’ve already spotted a cupcake shop (as you see, I love them!) called Yummy Cupcakes :) do you know it?

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12 Susan August 3, 2011 at 8:19 am

Hello! Lucky you to be coming to L.A. The weather is perfect and there is so much to do. I don’t know how long you are going to be here, but some of my favorites are: Gjelinda on Abbott Kinney – really the best food in town(my opinion, of course). Milk on beverly boulevard has fantastic ice cream and treats. If you eat Sushi, I like a place in Culver City-KYZO. Actually there are numerous restaurants in culver city that are fantastic: City Tavern, Fords Filling Statation, Akasha, and Essential Chocolate for their homemade ding dongs are a must, must. If you want trendy and want to see celebs – check out The Ivy on Robertson or Mozza Pizzeria on Highland. Both delicious, but pricey. There is so much, I cannot wait to hear what you see and do. Safe travels and have fun!

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13 Kristen August 3, 2011 at 5:16 am

Those are some fabulous looking chicken tenders! The kids menus around here are getting some better, but they still have the old culprits.

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14 Ana August 4, 2011 at 11:36 am

Oh!! Thank you so much for the advise!! Right now I’m in Barcelona and tomorrow I’ll be there. I love sushi, so I’ll try Kyzo. I’ll let you know!

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15 Thanh @ eat little bird August 8, 2011 at 1:36 am

I’m also a fan of making healthy homemade versions of popular restaurant food. These chicken tenders look lovely and I also love using panko breadcrumbs for extra crunch. Your apricot dipping sauce sounds really delicious – I can’t wait to try this recipe!

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